September 13, 2005
I am an attorney where most of my practice is representing investors in SRO arbitrations. I believe that the rule changing the arbitrator definitions is a step in the right direction. However, I feel that the changes do not go far enough.
Specifically, I feel that including attorneys who represent member firms within the term public arbitrator, to be a serious concern.
According to the proposed rule, as an attorney, as long as no more than 10 of my firms billings comes from industry sources, I can be a public arbitrator. Even if I am one of a 11 member firm and 100 of my business is representing industry concerns, I can be a public arbitrator. If the firm is big enough, I can be part of a multi lawyer group within the firm doing nothing but industry work, and still not break that 10 threshold, and remain a public arbitrator. This doesnt seem right.
Again, I think that the proposed rule is a step in the right direction. But to allow individuals such as those described above be public arbitrators is a serious injustice.
I hope you will consider expanding the definition of non-public arbitrator to include attorneys representing the industry. They should not be classified as public.